The prehistoric formation of our geological resource has left a rich legacy of hidden
treasures. For thousands of years humans have exploited and utilised these resources
in order to survive, develop and thrive.
This theme investigates the rocks and soil under our feet, and shows how the treasures
of iron, coal and stone have created our familiar landscapes and industries that
we know today.
Millstone grit was used for making ancient quern stones and millstones, and gave
rise to bouldering and rock climbing in the Victorian era.
The coal and ganister seams found in the local rock supported coke and charcoal production,
quarrying and glass making and also formed the basis for the rapid rise of the steel
industry during the industrial revolution.
The forests were used as a timber source for burning and building, and have been
managed by humans for hundreds of years.
The water power of the area drove mills and wheels for power and strength, and in
later years created reservoirs to supply the growing city with water for people and